Black Friday got its name from the spike in sales after a retail slump of eleven months of losses. This recovery was referred to by retailers as being pushed “into the black”. In the pre-Internet days, US retailers would refer to “doorbuster” deals, as shoppers would force their store doors open. The holiday has mostly skipped South Africa, until a huge surge of similar doorbusting experiences began around 5 years ago – leading to similar injures as those seen in the US.
However, one doesn’t have to get in harm’s way to get a deal. In fact, many of the deals have already started in the online-only space, from Takealot’s Blue Dot Sale to Incredible Connection’s early deals.
With the biggest discount holiday coming up tomorrow, we’ve gathered the best tips (and deals) one should look out for this Black Friday.
FNB – Stay within your means
Although FNB has a strong credit facility for its clients, it’s warning customers to be prudent in a downgraded economy.
FNB CEO Jacques Celliers says: “Year-end presents consumers with temptations to overspend, but it is prudent to keep one eye on budget plans for 2020. Those who have funds can still capitalise on opportunities such as Black Friday to make once-off purchases at lower prices, however it’s important to remember that the festive season period is very long.”
Visa – Careful how you shop
Payments giant Visa has outlined five tips to make sure consumers get what they purchase this Black Friday. Scammers have kicked it into high gear, so following these tips can make one less prone to being scammed.
Avoid open public Wi-Fi
Although many South Africans connect using public Wi-Fi, buying a little bit of data could save users from a lot of headaches later on. Only connect to Wi-Fi networks that have a password to connect, otherwise it could leave one’s information vulnerable to other users on the network.
Don’t click on ads
Many websites are pretending to be well-known retailers, and “spoof” a similar looking website to steal card information. To stay safe, rather visit the retailer’s website by typing in the URL or visit their app to verify the deal.
Buy from places you know
Check with friends if they have used the online service and had a good experience. There will be many fly-by-night stores opening shop for Black Friday.
Look out for HTTP and HTTPS
Legitimate retailers will always use HTTPS, a secure version of HTTP, to keep you safe. In the address bar, depending on the browser, it will show a locked lock or say “Not Secure”. Never shop at sites that say not secure in the address bar.
Keep your phone handy
If your bank hasn’t set up SMS alerts for transactions and 3D Secure approval, visit it now to activate it. Even if you aren’t shopping this Black Friday, keep an eye out for transactions, as cyber criminals will attempt to hide transactions they make among the transactions you may be making.
OneDayOnly – Get prepared in advance
Matthew Leighton, spokesperson at OneDayOnly.co.za, has come up with five of the tips for getting ready this Black Friday:
Know your websites
Leighton says: “Familiarise yourself with the website the day before– that means pre-logging into the website of your choice and for the extra-attentive, pre-loading your payment details. That way you can focus all your energy on the deals on the day.
Pull an all-nighter
“Our sale is from midnight to midnight. 00:00:01 is when we officially ‘open our doors’ and sales continue until stocks run out or midnight rolls around. Hit the caffeine and try stay up until midnight. You are automatically guaranteed to be one of the first to see the deals as they go live.
Make a shopping list of items you want
“A shopping list always helps – it’s a great way to keep track of what you want so you’re not wasting time.
Pre-load your payment details
“The longest part of the checkout process is completing your payment method which can be pre-saved beforehand. It just means you can go from browsing to checkout as quickly as possible.
Check out or miss out
“This is the biggest day for deals and if you think that Samsung 65″ UHD TV will still be there when you return, you need to rethink your game plan. Having an item in your cart does not secure it. You need to check out or miss out.”
Visit the next page to see our shopping list of deals for Black Friday.
TikTok takes on COVID-19
The fastest growing social media platform in the world has also become an epicenter of public education about the coronavirus, attracting more than 30-billion views, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK
The young have been getting a bad rap for wanting to party on while COVID-19 sends the world into lockdown. But a different movie is playing itself out on the social platform that is growing fastest among teenagers: TikTok.
Awareness campaigns by TikTok itself, collaboration with the International Red Cross, and spontaneous videos made by TikTok creators have combined into a barrage of information, education, awareness and social consciousness around the coronavirus.
Both globally and in South Africa, TikTok’s COVID-19 campaigns have gone viral.
The local #HayiCorona challenge, designed to remind people not to touch their face and wash hands regularly, has passed 1.5-million views. The TikTok collaboration with the International Red Cross, the #WashingHands challenge, has passed 12.6-million views.
One of the best-known participants in these challenges is the past year’s icon of South African talent, the Ndlovu Youth Choir, took up the global challenge with a 20-second hand-washing video. It put together a performance that brings tremendous energy to what can be a clichéd message, and ends with a punt for the Department of Health’s WhatsApp information service. The video can be viewed below.
“On a global scale, TikTok also partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure that, while creators are still having fun and expressing themselves on the platform, they stay informed with COVID-19 information coming from a reliable source,” a TikTok spokesperson told us. “Through the partnership, the WHO has created an informational page on TikTok that offers information to curb the spread of the coronavirus as well as dispelling myths.”
The page can be viewed at https://vm.tiktok.com/GHTEGf
TikTok has hosted a number of livestreams with WHO experts, attracting users from more than 70 countries, tuning in for live question and answer sessions. It has also introduced labels on coronavirus-related videos, to point users to trusted information. Resources are also offered directly in the app and in a dedicated COVID-19 section of TikTok’s Safety Center, at https://www.tiktok.com/safety/resources/covid-19.
If users simply want to explore videos on the topic, they can search via the #coronavirus hashtag, or click on https://vm.tiktok.com/swKbn4. The hashtag has had an astonishing 33.8-billion views, indicating the scale of activity and interest around the topic on the platform.
Read more on the next page about how South Africans have embraced the campaign.
On World Backup Day: backup, backup, backup
It was World Backup Day yesterday, 31 March, at a time when business continuity is threatened as never before. That makes calls for protecting email and defending against ransomware all the more urgent.
The global coronavirus pandemic has brought into stark relief many organisations’ lack of business continuity plans and policies. With more than two billion people around the globe in forced lockdown in wide-ranging government efforts to stem the tide of infections, an unprecedented number of employees are working remotely.
This interruption to the normal way of work is precisely what an effective and resilient business continuity strategy should plan for, says Heino Gevers, cybersecurity specialist at Mimecast.
“Companies need uninterrupted access to critical business applications during times of disruption, including safe and secure web and email access for workers that are now operating outside the normal perimeters of the organisation,” he says. “In addition, comprehensive backup and archiving solutions should be ready to restore access to critical business applications should there be any unplanned downtime to ensure continuity until the crisis passes.”
According to Gevers, the current global crisis is likely to push business continuity up the list of priorities for many organisations that have been disrupted by the effects of the coronavirus.
“Organisations are facing new challenges to their productivity; for example in terms of technical support. If a remote user is infected with malware or ransomware, how does the IT team restore that device or do any remediation without being able to physically access it?”
Gevers advises that organisations implement tools that enhances the data protection capabilities of commonly-used tools such as Office365 and can leverage archived data to provide quick recovery of email data in the event of accidental loss, malicious attacks or technical failure.
“As adoption of cloud-based business applications grow in the wake of forced lockdowns around the globe, companies need to ensure they have the tools to recover in any situation,” he says. “This includes a data management strategy that combines archiving, backup and data protection capabilities to allow for quick restoration of critical systems and applications in the event of disruption.”
Jasmit Sagoo, head of technology at Veritas for the United Kingdom and Ireland, warns that this is a golden age for cybercriminals looking for ransomware opportunities.
“As the global cost of ransomware continues to grow, this World Backup Day,
Veritas is saying: ‘don’t pay up, back up!’,” he says. “Ransomware is
said to generate an estimated annual revenue of $1 billion a year, and
companies who are not consistent in backing up their data are allowing
criminals to line their pockets.
“Ransomware attacks exist only because some businesses can’t survive unless the hackers give them back their data. So, the key to survival is removing that reliance and being able to regain access to data, without engaging with the cybercriminals. The best way to do that is with a sound backup strategy.
“Sagoo advises organisations to create isolated, offline backup copies of their data to keep it out of reach of any attackers. They then need to proactively monitor and restrict backup credentials, while running backups frequently to shrink the risk of potential data loss. Businesses should also test and retest their ransomware defences regularly.
“Ransomware strikes without warning and it doesn’t discriminate between its targets – it can happen to any organisation, large or small. Despite their best efforts, most companies will fall to at least one attack. What distinguishes one victim from another is the ability to bounce back, which ultimately depends on its backup strategy.
“When ransomware hits, organisations that aren’t prepared often feel helpless to do anything other than to submit to their attacker’s demands. That’s why we’re urging all businesses to use World Backup Day as a catalyst to get ahead of the situation and get their data protected.”